Camden County History Month October 2023
Camden NJ— The Camden County History Alliance invites the public to join us for Camden County History Month from October 1 to October 31, 2023, when around thirty participating historic sites and history organizations throughout Camden County will be open with special exhibits, reenactments, and guided tours for adults and children, both in-person and virtual, spanning centuries of history. The vast majority of the more than ninety events and activities during the month are free.
Visitors will have the opportunity to tour several historic buildings from across three centuries throughout the county during October. The colonial Griffith Morgan Homestead and the Burrough-Dover House in Pennsauken will be open on October 1 with docents in period garb. Colonial games and chores will be offered at the 1756 Gabreil Daveis Tavern Museum on October 8 and October 22, with tours led by the Gloucester Township Historic & Scenic Preservation Committee. Visit the Indian King Tavern Museum on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, where the New Jersey Legislature met in 1777. Also in Haddonfield, take a tour of historic Greenfield Hall on October 13 with the Historical Society of Haddonfield. An open house at the Haddon Township’s Champion School, the first free public school in the county in 1821, will be held on October 14. The oldest church in Camden City, Newton Friends Meetinghouse built in 1827, can be toured on October 1, while the much more ornate St. Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church from the early 20th century can be toured on October 14. Learn about the changing uses of buildings over the decades at the “Unveiling History’s Path” guided tour of the Rutgers Camden Graduate School House, which dates back to 1857, with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities on October 26.
Discover Camden County’s African American history by touring the Peter Mott House on October 7, October 14, October 21, or October 28 (admission $5-$10). The Lawnside Historical Society will also host a virtual multigenerational panel “To Tell Our Truth” about maintaining the truth of African American history on October 12. The historic Ritz Theatre Company will present the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” about the early 20th century African American blues singer on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays from October 13-October 29 (tickets $27). Finally, on October 29, David Goodrich, author of “On Freedom Road: Reflections and Reckonings Along the Underground Railroad,” will present at the Wayne Bryant Community Center in Lawnside (tickets $5).
Railroad enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Historic Berlin Railroad Depot, built in 1856, which will be open for tours on October 21. The Magnolia Train Station will be open on October 15 with exhibits on the Magnolia Methodist Church. On October 23, the West Jersey Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society will host a presentation on Pennsylvania Railroad’s Middle Division at the Audubon Senior Center.
Fans of Walt Whitman can attend a Meet & Greet with Walt Whitman at the Whitman Stafford Farmhouse on October 21. The farmhouse will also be open for tours on October 10 & 24. The Walt Whitman House in Camden will be hosting special tours celebrating the 150th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s arrival in Camden and 100 years of the Walt Whitman House being open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October.
If you enjoy the outdoors, attend “Nature at Barclay” at the Barclay Farmstead Museum in Cherry Hill on October 21. Go aboard the Schooner North Wind at its home dock in Gloucester City on October 14, or tour the massive Battleship New Jersey in Camden, which will offer half-price tickets on Wednesdays in October (tickets $10-$12.50). Take a walk for a meaningful cause at the March of Remembrance on October 15, joining Holocaust survivors to combat hate.
Several museums will have special exhibits during this month. The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum will be open during NJ Week of Respect on October 4 and October 5. The Camden County Historical Society will offer audio tours of historic Pomona Hall and the new Made in Camden exhibit in the Camden County Museum on Wednesdays in October. The Mechantville Historical Society will celebrate Merchantville’s Sesquicentennial on October 25 at the Merchantville Community Center. The Winslow Township History Center will be open on October 8 and October 22. The Barrington Historical Society will offer a Pop Up Museum on October 19 at the borough hall. “A Salute to the First Responders of Waterford Township” will be on exhibit at the Waterford Township Public Library in Atco, while the Somerdale Historical Society will provide virtual tours on their website all month long.
Special presentations during the month cover a broad range of topics. Learn about Civil War medicine with the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table on October 12, with the program “Healing a Divided Nation: How the American Civil War Revolutionized Western Medicine” presented at Camden County College and virtually. The Camden County Historical Society will offer a program about their new Made in Camden exhibit on October 22. The Esther Raab Holocaust Museum and Goodwin Education Center will host guest speaker Fred Cook, a former Neo-Nazi who is now a practicing Jew, both virtually and in person on October 15. “Remembering Heights in the 1960s” will be the theme of the Haddon Heights Historical Society meeting on October 16.
For those looking for Halloween-themed activities, the Historical Society of Haddonfield will offer Haunted Haddonfield Walking Tours on Friday and Saturday evenings, October 13-28 (tickets $15-$20). The Gloucester Township Historic & Scenic Preservation Committee will sponsor a Halloween Paranormal Night on October 14 at the Gabreil Daveis Tavern Museum (tickets $25). The Indian King Tavern Museum will host a living history program of Irish storyteller David Maccafrey telling spooky Celtic tales on October 21, and pirate-themed games and a sing-along with the Sea Dogs on October 28. Bring the family and explore our history!
Camden County History Month is hosted by the Camden County History Alliance, an association of over 50 Camden County history organizations, historic sites, and support agencies. The History Alliance was created in 2016 to identify resources, increase the number of visitors, and institute projects that promote Camden County heritage. The Camden County Historical Society manages the work of the History Alliance.
A full list of all the over 90 events during Camden County History Month, with hours and locations, is available on www.camdencountyhistoryalliance.com. Schedule is subject to change. Visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/camdencountyhistoryalliance for additional details and updates, or pick up an event guide from any of the historic sites or at the Camden County Historical Society at 1900 Park Boulevard in Camden.